Dig in: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Freshen up your breakfast menu with a fun, fruity flavor.
Courtesy of The Jefferson, DC.jpg

pancakes with lemon

A syrup made from lemon zest, lemon segments, limoncello and lemon zest simple syrup adds acidity and balance to this stack of pancakes and ricotta.

Photo by: Image courtesy of The Greenhouse at The Jefferson

Image courtesy of The Greenhouse at The Jefferson

A syrup made from lemon zest, lemon segments, limoncello and lemon zest simple syrup adds acidity and balance to this stack of pancakes and ricotta.

Related To:

Pancakes are the blue jeans of the breakfast world: they go well with everything. From sweet potatoes and blueberries to chocolate chips and cornmeal, pancakes play nicely with a variety of flavors, but chef Chris Jakubiec says they love lemon the most. 

"Pancakes are a sweet breakfast treat, so it only makes sense to serve them with something to cut the sweetness," says the executive chef of The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C., who shares his recipe for lemon ricotta pancakes below. "Lemon adds acidity and goes so well with ricotta!"

Jakubiec uses Meyer lemon for his recipe, but says regular lemons can be used as well. "It only changes the flavor profile slightly in terms of sweetness, as Meyer lemon tends to be a little more concentrated," he says.

Though there's no lemon in the actual pancakes or ricotta, Jakubiec garnishes the stack with a syrup made of lemon juice, lemon segments, limoncello and a simple syrup made with lemon zest. "Both the pancakes and ricotta are naturally sweet, so they need something with acidity to balance our the sweetness. The lemon acts as a bit of a palate cleanser as well."

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Courtesy of Chris Jakubiec, executive chef of The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. 

Yield: 4 servings

Pancakes

  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 dash salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a whisk or large fork, mix in the buttermilk and egg until well combined and smooth. Stir in the melted butter. 

Heat non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Using a ¼ cup measure, pour pancake batter onto hot griddle. When pancake is golden brown, flip to cook other side. Keep warm in oven heated to 275 degrees. 

Ricotta Filling

  • 1 cup ricotta, strained
  • Vanilla extract to taste

Combine the ricotta with the vanilla extract. 

Presentation

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup limoncello
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ¼ cup lemon segments
  • ¼ cup lemon zest simple syrup
  • Powdered sugar to garnish

In a non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the sugar and butter. When butter is completely melted, add the limoncello and lemon juice. Flambe and remove from the heat once the alcohol has burned off. Add lemon zest, the lemon segments and ¼ cup of reserved lemon syrup. Continue to heat on very low heat. 

Place one pancake on a plate, spread on a spoonful of ricotta mixture, then stack another pancake on top and spoon on more ricotta. Add one final pancake with another spoonful of ricotta. Garnish with a drizzle of the lemon zest simple syrup combined with the limoncello. 

Lemon Zest Simple Syrup

  • 3 lemons zested, white removed and julienned 
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar

Place zest in cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, strain, return to the pan with cold water to cover and repeat the process. Repeat three times total. In a separate pan, bring the water and sugar to a boil to make a simple syrup. Add the zest to the syrup and cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Cool the zest in the syrup and reserve.

Next Up

Cast Iron Lemon-Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

Brunch guests will love this springtime twist on traditional cinnamon rolls. Sweet lemon curd and fresh blueberries are rolled up together in our favorite yeast dough and baked farmhouse-style in a cast iron skillet. Smother the warm rolls with plenty of lemony cream cheese frosting for an ooey-gooey finish.

Spring Vegetable Frittata Recipe

Tender spring asparagus and fresh peas bring garden flavor to this cheesy frittata. Grab an extra carton of eggs at the farmer’s market while shopping for produce. This herby, eggy dish requires an entire dozen.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Scones Recipe

Looking for the perfect recipe to celebrate rhubarb’s short season? Look no further! Strawberry-rhubarb scones are bursting with the sweet-tart flavors of spring. Buttermilk gives them richness, as well as a moist crumb that sets them apart from other scone recipes.

Roasted New Potatoes With Spring Herbs

Show off spring's harvest of new potatoes with bright flavors. These young potatoes have tender skins, so roast them unpeeled. A lemon and herb-infused olive oil drizzle brings a surprisingly light citrus note to this dish. Serve the potatoes on a bed of spring salad greens for additional herbaceous flavor.

Arugula Salad With Homemade Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Round out your springtime brunch with the ultimate light side: a garden-fresh, leafy green salad. Arugula and watercress are ideal for this healthy recipe as both are cool-weather crops harvested in spring, with a crisp, peppery flavor. Fresh orange slices, tart strawberries and sweet blueberries scattered on top harmonize well with the from-scratch orange-poppy seed vinaigrette. Sprinkle on blue cheese crumbles for a savory, creamy note.

The Ultimate Vegetarian Cheese Board

Move over, charcuterie. This superabundant vegetarian cheese board is so hearty and satisfying that you won’t even miss the meat. Tender baby carrots, snap peas and other favorite spring produce calls for lighter tasting cheeses with fragrant floral, fruity and citrusy flavors. Use our selected cheeses as a guide to build your board, and add on your favorite varieties. Paired with the right other ingredients, you’ll assemble an unforgettable spread.

Açaí Breakfast Bowl

If it's cloudy or gray, this açaí bowl will brighten your day. Whip up a batch and invite friends for brunch. Serve with fresh fruits and nut butters so everyone can customize their own bowl.

How to Host Trivia Night at Home

The fun of trivia night + the comfort of your home = perfection.

Healthier-for-You Garlic Dill Veggie Dip Recipe

Nonfat Greek yogurt is the secret ingredient for making this veggie dip light in fat and calories. Garlic and herbs give it bold, rich flavor. It takes just minutes to whisk together and can be made a day ahead. Serve with an assortment of your favorite crudités. One dip and you’ll be hooked!

Easy Party Food Ideas That Won't Break the Bank

You don't have to tap into your savings to throw a great party. Try our tasty recommendations for easy (and cheap!) party recipes.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.